How hard would it be for me to get my citizenship through marriage?

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How hard would it be for me to get my citizenship through marriage?

I’m an illegal alien but raised in here in the U.S pretty much all my life. I was brought here by my parents at the age of 1 illegally from Mexico. I’m 21 right now currently in a community college going for Film Studies/Production. If I marry my girlfriend of almost a year (a legitimate marriage) and apply for citizenship, how fast would I obtain my citizenship? I’m completely undocumented; can’t get a job, ID/driver’s license, apply for state university or travel. I’m doing great in school with a 3.8 GPA and have no criminal record.

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Immigration Law, Texas

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you entered the country unlawfully and no one had ever petitioned for you before, unfortunately, you are not elgiible to apply for permanent resident status (you have to be a permanent resident for a requisite period of time before you can even think of citizenship) within the US even if you are legally married to a US citizen and the marriage is bona fide.  You would have to go back to your home country but as soon as you leave the US, you would trigger an automatic 10 year bar to reentry which can only be waived by a showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse, which is fairly difficult to do in most cases.


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